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The Dellow Centre, London, 27 November 2016

5 December 2016

We’ll start with 5, 10 and 15-minute poses,” said David. Evidently he would be calling the pose lengths for this booking. Most of the groups for which I model are led by one person, but at Toynbee Art Club there’s a more transparent sharing of responsibilities; be they for acting as treasurer, making the tea, or hiring life models. There were eight or nine artists surrounding me during this Sunday session and it seemed at least half had some kind of role in its organisation.

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I started in a standing twist, progressed to a tendon-tensing crouch, and followed with a reprise of the seated pose I had held for 2-hours a couple of days previously at Mall Galleries. A much simpler standing pose filled the 25-minutes that remained until our tea interval. Afterwards, a 60-minute twisting recline completed my afternoon’s work. I had made a couple of poses slightly more uncomfortable for myself than was entirely necessary, but the overall range was appreciated by these experienced artists.

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The Dellow Centre itself is home to Providence Row, a charity dedicated to tackling homelessness. When not hosting weekly life drawing sessions, its art studio serves primarily to provide workshops for the homeless. Broad windows face other rooms in the complex, and sometimes I wonder the extent to which models can be seen; a long howling yell from outside during this session, however, reminded me that some residents have more troubling preoccupations. Donate to Providence Row.

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